Lisa Cox, 2022 chair of CAI’s Community Association Managers Council, speaks at the 2021 CAI Annual Conference and Exposition: Community NOW, in Las Vegas. (Photo by Chelsa Christensen)

Part of a series about women in leadership roles during Women’s History Month.

Lisa Cox, CMCA, AMS, LSM, PCAM, community manager at Sienna Associations in Missouri City, Texas, knows firsthand the impact that getting involved and volunteering can have on a career. As 2022 chair of CAI’s Community Association Managers Council, she will primarily focus on the challenges that community management companies and associations are facing in attracting and retaining talent.

Cox is one of five women serving as chair or president of CAI’s leadership groups this year. In addition to the Community Association Managers Council, women are leading CAI’s Board of Trustees, Business Partners Council, Homeowner Leaders Council, and the College of Community Association Lawyers’ Board of Governors.

Ungated asked Cox about her goals as Community Association Managers Council chair, her involvement with CAI, the value of getting involved, and what it means to be a woman in a leadership role.

How long have you been a community association manager?

I joined the community association industry 26 years ago, overseeing recreation and lifestyle facilities. I’ve been working as a community manager for 18 years.

What are your priorities as chair of CAI’s 2022 Community Association Managers Council?

Our focus this year is to collaborate on additional steps that management company CEOs, community managers, and communities can take to attract and retain professionals to our incredible industry. It continues to be a significant challenge for almost every management company and community I have visited. CAI’s recent publications, Attracting Talent to the Community Association Management Industry and Opportunities Knock, are excellent resources to help address these challenges. (Access both publications through the CAI Career Center).

What motivates you to volunteer with CAI?

My experiences with CAI and the CAI Greater Houston Chapter have given me an important foundation to build upon. Like many other community association managers, I came into this industry from a different career. I attribute so much of my knowledge from the courses and other resources that have been offered through CAI.

Volunteering and networking have helped me develop professional relationships with people who I frequently reach out to for advice and support. I’ve also been very fortunate to work for an incredible leader in this industry who values the importance of professional involvement. It’s important to have the self-initiative to get involved, such as by attending events or volunteering for a committee.

How has CAI benefited your work as a community association manager?

CAI is an invaluable resource for education and professional relationships. While every community is different, there are so many ways we can help each other, and CAI helps provide the avenue for developing these professional resources. The CAI Exchange, our online forum to ask questions and get answers, is a great resource.

What are some of the ways that you have broken the bias as a woman in the workplace?

Maintaining self-confidence is important to step into leadership positions. It’s also about overcoming the self-doubt that is sometimes applied to women—the feeling that we can’t achieve leadership while being an active and involved parent and spouse at the same time. Women can be incredibly talented multitaskers.

How does it feel to be a woman in a leadership position?

It’s a feeling of enthusiasm. I’m able to help mentor and guide others in this industry to a path of success.

>>Lisa Cox was one of the panelists during CAI’s free webinar celebrating International Women’s Day. View the webinar on-demand at

  • Laura Otto

    Laura Otto is the senior editor of CAI’s award-winning Community Manager. A seasoned journalist, Laura previously worked for a creative, advocacy agency in Washington, D.C., where she wrote and edited content for a variety of public health clients. Prior to that Laura served as a senior writer and editor for the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Laura is a graduate of Temple University in Philadelphia. She currently resides in Alexandria, Va., with her husband and two small children.

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